74% done with Oliver Twist

If only Dickens had invested his characters with depth, with humanity, with real emotion, would scenes such as the one when Oliver wonders how the sun can shine on a funeral day be more than just some nice writing.

But Dickens can’t have it both ways – he can’t treat everyone as a sketch to his own plot ends and then also expect us to feel emotionally engaged with these people. He can write nice words, not people.